C32 - First year of ownership

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New Member
Sep 26, 2019
2001 C32 Estate
Hi all.
I've owned the C32 estate for just over a year and as it's my first Merc/ AMG I've taken a while to get used to it both in driving and technically, so I thought I would run through how I've used it, how I've enjoyed it, general experience and of course the dreaded spend.
Hopefully will prove a bit interesting for those thinking about buying one. I'm not a mechanic and not that experienced but I learn quick and am f***ing picky on completing jobs.

Firstly, have I enjoyed it?
Yes, overall it's been great. Still some gripes but I enjoy it's relaxed crusing nature on a trip with my toddler but the next day on a decent run through Somerset and leaving some decent cars in distant memory.

To get that I have had to slowly work through some bits in my ownership.

When I bought it the front tyres were shot, there was a vibration at idle and on overrun (off throttle), one alloy was buckled, it was quick but felt it missed something and there were some rust spots in usual places although nothing that scared me. Good service history and proper UK car and mileage at 94k was acceptable range. All the electrics worked which was great and is fully specced and is in (common) brilliant silver.

My first task when I got the car home was to get it jacked up and have a pole around. I was pleasantly surprised as let's face it, mercs of this age rot. We learn to live with it. Everything looked solid but there was a lot of surface rust, particularly around the back end frame and inner bumper. So that was treated to a full dose of elbow grease, bilt hamber rust inhibitors and epoxy resin to keep it all nice. Drivetrain, brakes, suspension etc were all inspected and I was happy enough with what I saw. Shocks a bit rusty but no misting or signs of failure. Big plus point was that the brakes pipes looked new and that's a decent job. I later had this confirmed when I took it to a specialist for a full health check. Shout to Craig at D&B Auto as he has been a good contact to find.

That's threw up some stuff, mostly minor like surface rust on suspension parts, appeared lower on power, tyres, missing clips etc

I then did some further home checks and did basic service (I always do this on buying a car irrespective of when it was last done - is that OCD?)

I then sourced some amazing value pilot sport 4s for the front in time for the autumn which made an immediate improvement on the daily drive. Had the front wheels refurbed at Phoenix alloys Bristol to sort the buckle out too. Had 2 months of faultless driving and then on way back from a mates I had the red battery light come on. Car features shut down to protect the charge (nice Merc feature) and I took it to my usual local indy for a diagnosis thinking alternator.

Turned out it was and was swapped for a OE part plus got him to change the diff oil for factory spec as he had it with him whilst waiting for the alternator. Never great to get a decent bill 2 weeks before Christmas but there you go.

Part 2 to follow (I welcome views and thoughts on my experiences above and I will.be posting some photos too)
So far sounds like typical (almost stereotypical Italian) C32 ownership!

I loved the estate I owned and it cost me well over £5k in a year, great cars...
Truly wonderful cars. Looking forward to part 2.
Had my 32 estate for 8 years of fun before I gave up on the rusting wheel arches
Cheers guys. Good to know that it's not too bad in the scheme of things and has had money spent on it previously, more so than the paperwork (which is in itself a hefty stack) shows. Got a bit lucky there but on the test drive just felt like a good 'un.
I should say I hadn't driven many mercs, and zero C32s before this so relied on gut and having bought shed loads of cars to date! Used to love my bangernomics!

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